The stars earn four nods each for the 37th annual NAACP Image Awards

By Stephen M. Silverman
January 11, 2006 09:15 AM

Kanye West, Alicia Keys and Mariah Carey are the frontrunners for the 37th annual NAACP Image Awards, scoring four nominations each – including best song and album – while Terrence Howard landed two acting nods for the movies Hustle & Flow and Crash, and Kimberly Elise is up for best movie actress (Diary of a Mad Black Woman) and actress in a TV drama (Close to Home).

The awards, for achievement by African Americans in movies, TV, music and literature, will be presented Feb. 25 in Los Angeles and will air on FOX March 3, two days before the Oscars.

Crash, the ensemble race drama set in Los Angeles, tops the list of movie contenders with six nominations, including best picture. Its cast members fill four of the five supporting actor slots: Howard, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Don Cheadle and Larenz Tate. Thandie Newton also earned a supporting actress nomination for the film.

Howard received a lead actor nomination for Hustle & Flow, which also is nominated for best film, along with Coach Carter, Diary of a Mad Black Woman and Hitch.

Best album nominees include Keys (Alicia Keys Unplugged), Carey (The Emancipation of Mimi) and West (Late Registration). All three received best song nominations, Keys for “Unbreakable,” Carey for “We Belong Together” and West for “Diamonds From Sierra Leone.”

Besides Elise, other TV nominees include Halle Berry, for best actress in a movie, miniseries or dramatic special (Their Eyes Were Watching God); Dennis Haysbert, best actor in a drama series (24); and The Bernie Mac Show and Everybody Hates Chris, for best comedy series.